English 138

Studies in World Literature in English: International Literature

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2010 Lee, Steven S.
Lee, Steven
TTh 9:30-11 123 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Anand, M.R.: Untouchable; Gold, M.: Jews Without Money; Hughes, L.: A Negro Looks at Soviet Central Asia; Koestler, A.: Darkness at Noon; Malraux, A.: Man’s Fate; Marguez, G.G.: One Hundred Years of Solitude; Platonov, A.: Soul


Pascal Casanova has influentially defined Paris as the “capital of the literary world,” as the center of what she calls the “world republic of letters.” Accordingly, contemporary discussions of world literature typically focus on the spread of Western European literary forms. This course will engage these discussions by tracing an alternate, non-Western model of world literature—one centered in Moscow rather than Paris. Focusing on the 1920s and 30s, we will explore politically radical notions of “international literature” which achieved prominence after the Bolshevik Revolution and which attracted left-leaning writers from around the world. Reading works by, among others, Soviet authors Isaac Babel and Andrei Platonov; American authors Langston Hughes and Michael Gold; French author Andre Malraux; and Indian author Mulk Raj Anand, our goal will be to reconstruct the emergence and decline of a literature that was to help usher in international revolution. We will conclude by uncovering traces of this literature in a canonical work of “world literature,” Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.

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